Program Alumni

Alumni are central to the mission of the CLS Program. CLS alumni go on to do great things with their language skills, both academically and professionally. In addition to providing information about the program to colleagues, classmates, and people in their communities, CLS Program alumni play a key role in preparing prospective applicants and finalists and serving as citizen ambassadors of their study abroad experiences.

Alumni Ambassadors

CLS Alumni Ambassadors are recent CLS participants who take leadership roles as active and positive representatives of the CLS Program. 

CLS Alumni Ambassadors are selected through a competitive process each year. Approximately 20 alumni from 2017 program will be selected to be CLS Alumni Ambassadors for 2018. We look for alumni who have reflected on the successes and challenges of their experience and want to share their excitement for study abroad and the CLS Program with others.

CLS Alumni Ambassadors engage with all CLS alumni and represent the program to various audiences, including prospective CLS participants, program finalists, university staff, and the general public. For instance, you can organize an online or in-person essay-writing workshop leading up to the CLS application deadline or give a presentation about CLS program at a college study abroad fair or a community event.

Typical activities of an Alumni Ambassador include:

  • General CLS and/or county-specific presentations
  • Participating in online forums
  • Providing prospective CLS students with information about their experience
  • Responding to questions from future CLS participants as needed
  • Speaking on panels at conferences and CLS Program events

Click here to view CLS Alumni Ambassador profiles.

Search Past Alumni

Find alumni on your campus and in your community! Search for CLS alumni by name, home institution, language, year, or field of study.

CLS Alumni Support Network

As the Critical Language Scholarship Program continues to grow, we want to ensure new participants have access to a variety of support for the unique and varied challenges they may face during their time abroad. One of our most significant resources for assisting new students is our deep pool of alumni who have experience on the CLS Program in different countries and sites, and a variety of overseas experience to share with new students. To facilitate the exchange of experience and promote mentoring relationships across program years, CLS introduced the CLS Alumni Support Network in 2015.

The CLS Alumni Support Network consists of two pieces: a CLS Alumni Resource Guide and a one­-to-one mentoring program. The CLS Alumni Resource Guide is a directory of alumni who have volunteered to speak with current students about a range of different topics and issues, both routine and sensitive. Topics include program preparation, local environment, local culture, religion, racial attitudes, gender norms, the LGBTQ experience abroad, strategies for engaging with the host culture, host families, language partners, time management, and language learning. For those who feel that they may benefit from additional, more direct support, CLS participants can elect to be paired with an alumnus or alumna who has volunteered to serve as an official mentor throughout the summer.

If you are interested in learning more about the CLS Alumni Support Network or are an alum who would like to participate in the program, please contact us.

Spreading the Word

If you are interested in conducting an information session on your campus after completing the CLS Program, read Spreading the Word (PDF), our guide to alumni-led information sessions, and feel free to contact us at 202-833-7522 or via email if you have any questions! You may also download the CLS informational one-pager (PDF).

Alumni Development Fund

Each year, the CLS Alumni Development Fund offers small grants to alumni of the CLS Program through a competitive application process. The Alumni Development Fund (ADF) is designed to provide opportunities for alumni to continue their language learning, pursue career development goals, and participate in community outreach related to CLS languages and their corresponding world regions. Particular emphasis is placed on projects with an impact beyond the individual applicant, reaching students, CLS alumni, or others in their community.

More information about the 2018 Alumni Development Fund is available here.

Stay in Touch

We want to hear from you! Let us know if you change your contact information, if you get a great new job or if you have any other exciting news to share. We know that our alumni are doing amazing things, and we want to hear from you about the impact of study abroad on your career!

Send updates to us by filling out this form, sending us an email, or calling us at (202) 833-7522.